Newspaper Yediot Ahronot posts this weekend an interview with Liora Simon, who represented Israel in the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin. Liora tells about her connections with the Datz couple who produced her entry that year and about her success in Latin America countries.
Back in 1995, Liora was struggling her way into the limelight of the Israeli show biz. Her producer then was ShlomoZach, who managed and produced many of Israel's Eurovision entrants. "Zach told me there's a wonderful song by Moshe Datz (half of the Duo Datz, Israel 1991), which we can submit for the Kdam-Eurovision", Liora recalls. "The song 'Amen' was accepted to the Kdam, with my demo version and also with Orna and Moshe Datz' version. Duo Datz then regreted giving me the song and made a lot ofcommotion trying to claim the song back and perform it themselves in the Kdam. They were positive they would actually win the Eurovision Song Contest with it. When Moshe realized I was the only one to perform the song in the Kdam, he asked me secretly that in I case I win the Kdam, I would invite him and Orna to perform the reprise on stage with me", tells Liora.
Liora indeed perform 'Amen' and gained 82 out of the 84 possible points in a landslide victory. Liora kept her secret promise to Moshe Datz, and asked the Duo to perform the reprise with her. "My PR manager was angry at me for sharing the fame I was waiting for such a long time, with the Datz couple. I wasn't able to tell the truth, what made me do it", says Liora.
Liora went on the represent Israel in the song contest, which took place that year in Dublin. "The Datz couple traveled to Dublin with me. They took advantage of it to create a buzz around themselves, rather than me. They presented a picture of a perfect couple. I managed to relate more to Moshe rather than Orna, he has a big heart.Plus, he helped mepick my dresses" , says Liora, who finished at a respectable 8th in Dublin.
After a failed marriage, Liora was divorced from her husband (and so did the Datz couple, just a few weeks ago). Liora, whosunk into the oblivion of the show biz in Israel, went back to her parents home with her two children. She was then convinced her singing career was over. By coincidence, she got in touch with a new manager who started promoting her again "and brought me back to life", as she puts it. Thanks to good relations this manager had with producers in Latin America, Liora burst into the limelight of South American countries. According to Liora, she is nowadays a true diva in these countries. Today Liora splits her life between Israel and Latin America. She is on a constant tour there, performing with a band of 8 musicians and 10 dancers in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador and Mexico. Her new provocative look, combinedwithoriental sounds and Spanish, French and Arabic lyrics, are all translated into massive success.
On the other hand, Liora was completely forgotten at home grounds. "Its an amazing gap between my life in Israel and in South America. Over there I fly only in first class. In Israel I still drive a small car whereas over there I'm being chauffeured. In Israel I go to the supermarket and no one knows me, over there thousands of fans scream my name at my shows", says Liora. What about a comeback in Israel? Liora concluds: "I like the feelingof being loved abroad. Nevertheless I crave to be loved again at my home country".